Chiyo Tsutsumi could not attend any school due to a weak heart, and while confined to bed learned the classics by herself.
When Chiyo Tsutsumi became paralysed, it was difficult for her to speak or use her hands, and it was only thanks to the efforts of her devoted husband, that she was able to produce work.
Chiyo Tsutsumi was a popular writer, having won the Naoki Prize for literature with her maiden work "Little Finger" (1940). She also was a popular short story writer. Works include "Saikai" ("Second Encounter"), "E-ninaru Onna" ("Woman Into Picture") and "Buncho" ("Java Sparrow"). Tsutsumi's work is valuable because from the onset of the war years she recorded how the Japanese people were guided by the Imperial Japanese jingoism. Her woman characters all follow Confucian ethics and practise obedience to enable them to endure hardships.
In 1944, Tsutsumi married Fukutome Riichi, an engineer.